Hen not laying, anything i can do?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Elliebeans, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. Elliebeans

    Elliebeans Chirping

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    Aug 5, 2019
    Mrs Jessup, my Hyline hen (basically an ISA Brown) has been a bit of a freeloader since I got her. She hatched, I believe in March. I bought her as a point of lay pullet from a poultry supply store who got her from a hatchery. She laid her first egg in August and has laid about 4 total. None for more than a month. All my other hens (d'uccle bantams, silkies and a bantam australorp) are all laying really well. In fact production exceeds demand.

    She is fed on good quality layer mix as well as vegetables, some fruit and sprouted seeds. She also loves her mealworms and gets bread on occasion as a treat as well as a little cooked oatmeal with sardines or cooked eggs for protein. She gets access to plenty of sun. She seems very happy and healthy, have never had any concern to worry about her emotional or physical wellbeing. She's the boss chook so I've never seen her bullied. I have seen her sitting in the nesting box but leaving without producing eggs. No signs of being egg bound. She is by all accounts a perfectly healthy, happy hen. Just not laying.

    Could there be something wrong or is she just a 'dud'. I don't really mind if she doesn't lay ever again. She's my favourite and will have a home for life as a pet either way. Maybe it's all my fault after all? She was a spur of the moment purchase and I looked her 'breed' up a while after I bought her and read that they have short lifespans because they basically wear themselves out laying so much. So I told her not to worry about laying all the time and live a long life. Maybe she just took that as permission not to lay at all and live rent free?:lau
     
    MarilynHukill likes this.
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    Do you have any photos of Mrs Jessup?

    Cut back on the treats and see if her laying improves. Aim for her to be eating layer feed 95% of the time.
    When you feel of her abdomen is she full or fatty feeling? When you feel her breast, can you feel her keel or is she quite robust?
     
    aart likes this.
  3. Tycine1

    Tycine1 Crowing

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    You mentioned that she's head hen, is this an all hen flock? If so, she may have assumed the role of rooster, and many hens that do so, either lay infrequently or not at all.

    Another possibility for her lack of laying eggs for you would be internal laying, which would be extremely bad news. Her spending time in the nest box without producing an egg lends some weight to this possibility.

    I agree with Wyorp Rock about cutting back on treats, a heaping helping of health problems are in store for fat hens. The list of treats you mentioned either reduced overall protein intake (fruits, veggies, oatmeal, bread), add unwanted sugar (fruit, some types of bread), or were exceptionally high in fat (mealworms and possibly seeds). The above treats aren't bad if they're only offered in strict moderation; no more than 10% of their caloric intake for chickens at normal weight, less if your birds are overweight. There were two treats on your list that I consider acceptable for both normal weight hens and FOR FAT HENS; sardines (in water for heavy girls, or oil for skinny girls) and eggs.
     
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  4. Elliebeans

    Elliebeans Chirping

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    Not sure If these photos are helpful. I'll feel her for fat when I get home.
    It is an all hen flock. I had a rooster very briefly, she often bossed him around. I saw him attempt to mount her a few times but she always made him stop. She pecked him a bit when he was first let in to the run with her but they weren't really nasty with each other. Seemed like he just decided it was best not to bother her too much.
    I'll cut down on the treats. She's going to be pretty upset with me about that.

    I just find it odd that the other hens lay well when they eat the same stuff- she's pretty good at sharing food with the others and won't chase them away to hog it all.
     

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  5. Tycine1

    Tycine1 Crowing

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    Being top hen means she gets first pick on everything; dust bathing, roosting spot, food and even insects that your girls flush up out of the yard. If the head hen lays 'dibs', she get it.
     
  6. Elliebeans

    Elliebeans Chirping

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    I ended up being stuck at work too late to give her a physical and left too early to do it this morning so I'll do that tonight. I looked up the symptoms of internal egg laying and hopefully that can be ruled out because she shows absolutely none of the symptoms (apart from not laying that is). I'll keep a close eye on her though for any symptoms.
     
    Wyorp Rock likes this.

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